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Jeffrey was inspired by literature and memoirs while writing Middlesex, but he based Cal's character on events much closer to homehis own life. "In order to write a book and to write about a character so different from myself, who had gone through different things than I had, the only way I could do it was to kind of create an autobiographical ground on which I could have firm footing," Jeffrey says. "So what I did is I made Cal born in the same year as I. In the same city. His grandparents also come from Greece. I had him grow up on the same street and things like that."

But there is one major difference between Jeffrey and Cal. "He has a condition where he would not respond to dihydrotestosterone [the substance that causes baldness], so Cal actually would have a full head of hair."
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